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PEF divestments

Baring PEA revives IPO plan for delivery firm Rogen

By May 17, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Baring PEA revives IPO plan for delivery firm Rogen

Baring Private Equity Asia is joining a group of private equity firms that have just resumed the stalled process for initial public offerings of their long-held Korean assets ranging from coffee house chain to shipping company and e-commerce platform.

Baring PEA has recently decided to take public Rogen Co. by year's end, according to investment banking sources on May 16.

The Hong Kong-based PEF acquired the entire stake in Rogen in 2013. Its two previous attempts to sell Rogen in 2016 and 2020 fell through in the final stages of talks with then the preferred negotiators. The delivery firm was estimated to fetch 300 billion won ($265 million) at the time.

A plan to list the country's No.5 parcel delivery company in 2018 went awry due to poor financial market conditions.

Rogen trails behind CJ Logistics Corp., Hanjin Transportation Co. and Lotte Global Logistics Co., competing closely with Korea Post for the No.4 spot .

Rogen's operating profit jumped 24% year-on-year to 29.2 billion won in 2020, with sales up 15.8% to 512.8 billion won. This year, its earnings are expected to improve further, supported by the e-commerce boom in contactless trends.

Mirae Asset is handling the IPO as the lead manager.

Mirae Asset is also working on two renewed IPO processes of H-LIne Shipping Co. and the e-commerce platform TMON held by PEFs for more than five years.

Seoul-based Hahn & Co. has revived the process of listing H-Line Shipping, South Korea's second-largest bulk transportation company. A consortium of KKR & Co. and Anchor Equity Partners revisited the IPO plan for TMON Inc. as well.

Anchor Equity also is preparing to make A Twosome Place the country's first listed coffee chain.

PEFs are turning to stock markets to ride on the red-hot IPO market and brisk earnings of the Korean companies, with Asia's fourth-largest economy gaining momentum with a quick rebound in exports.

Late last month, the IPO of SK IE Technology Co. (SKIET), the battery materials subsidiary of SK Innovation Co, pulled in 80.9 trillion won in subscriptions from retail investors, the highest amount for an IPO on the Korean bourse.

So far there have been only two Korean companies that went public when they were owned by PEFs. Orange Life Insurance Co., formerly known as ING Life, made a trading debut in 2018, a year before MBK Partners sold a majority stake in the insurer to Shinhan Financial Group for 2.3 trillion won. 

Samyang Optics Co. listed on the Kosdaq junior market in 2017, two years before Seoul-based VIG Partners sold its entire stake in Samyang to another domestic PEF, LK Investment Partners, for 102 billion won.

Write to Jin-seong Kim at jskim1028@hankyung.com

Yeonhee Kim edited this article.

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